Ex-Central Narcotics Bureau chief Ng Boon Gay arriving at the Subordinate Courts with his wife. (Yahoo! photo)
As the prosecution and defence concluded their cases on Monday, former Central Narcotics Bureaudirector Ng Boon Gay will find out whether or not he will be convicted of corruption on Valentine’s Day.
District Judge Siva Shanmugam, who has been presiding over the case, heard closing arguments from both sides after 14 days of trial, where Ng is facing four charges of having corruptly obtained sexual gratification from former IT sales executive Cecilia Sue, allegedly in exchange for advancing her then-employers’ business interests.
Saying it is “dangerous” to convict Ng based on evidence provided by Sue, who is the prosecution’s key witness, defence counsel Tan Chee Meng said the 36-year-old lied in court on numerous occasions, not simply to protect her marriage, but also to implicate his client.
“This (Sue) is a witness who is prepared to say anything to implicate the accused,” he said. “You see a lady in court who was not only there to protect herself but also to ensure that (Ng) is convicted.”
Tan also argued on Monday that even with its best case, the prosecution had not proven its case beyond all reasonable doubt — which is why Ng should be acquitted of his charges.
He said Ng had stayed at “arm’s length” from the bureau’s IT procurement processes, and could not have thrown any spanners into the works, as far as Sue’s business deals with the CNB were concerned. Tan added that Ng also never promised Sue any favours, neither did Sue ask him for or expect any, and urged the court not to “convict an innocent man just to bring home the message that corruption is wrong”.
Conversely, the prosecution argued simply that when a civil servant seeks gratification from others, the law provides that it is presumed that his gratification was sought corruptly, through Section 8 of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Deputy public prosecutor Tan Ken Hwee said this means that the burden lay on Ng to prove he had received gratification from Sue legitimately.
Tan pointed out that it was not disputed that Ng did not make “any genuine efforts to assure (Sue) that he would not have any role to play” in the business transactions she was interested in with the CNB, and also the fact that he failed to declare any conflicts of interest to the bureau when he signed off the approval for the procurement contracts in question.
He stressed also that the case is not about policing morality or marital vows, and that it would be sufficient to prove Ng’s corrupt intent as long as Ng had reason to believe that Sue performed the acts of fellatio on him so he would show her employers favour in business transactions.
If he is convicted next month, Ng will face a maximum fine of $100,000 for each of his four charges or up to five years of imprisonment or both.